A New Type Of Art Theft

I’m back! The main ‘reason’ referred to in my last post was the fact I was going on holiday. I didn’t say anything as I didn’t want to advertise the fact that the house would be empty for nearly two weeks. (The computer still hasn’t been repaired but it is behaving itself at the moment, touch wood.)

Unlike our last holiday, way back in February, to Russia, I didn’t get to see much art. We were on a cruise of the Med and the Black Sea, which included a call at Istanbul. There, among other places, we went to the Hagia Sofia Mausoleums. One of them is the Mausoleum of Sultan Mehmed II.


Outside there was an interesting information board:


Here is my photo of the panel:


Now, I’ve come across ‘art theft’ in a number of different forms. The loss of Vermeer’s The Concert from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, for example, was 100% theft. Jews in Nazi Germany were forced to sell their art at knock down prices. Their descendants are gradually getting them back. Armies have for centuries carried off art works as part of their plunder. There is still a continuing debate regarding the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum.

However, the information that tiles from the mausoleum were sent to France for restoration and “counterfeits were made in Sevres and were placed where originals once laid”, putting the originals on display in the Louvre, is a new (to me, at least) and unbelievable type of art theft!


About notes to the milkman

I'm a printmaker based in the North West of England, living in Bolton and printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Please visit my website johnpindararts.weebly.com
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6 Responses to A New Type Of Art Theft

  1. cynt5525 says:

    This was very interesting!!! Welcome back !!! *Cynthia

  2. Welcome back, John! That’s chronic theft alright.

  3. Utterly disgraceful!

  4. Quoting from the Agia Sophia wiki page:

    “In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks under Sultan Mehmed II, who subsequently ordered the building converted into a mosque.[9] The bells, altar, iconostasis, and sacrificial vessels were removed and many of the mosaics were plastered over. Islamic features – such as the mihrab, minbar, and four minarets – were added while in the possession of the Ottomans. It remained a mosque until 1931 when it was closed to the public for four years. It was re-opened in 1935 as a museum by the Republic of Turkey”.

    And they are accusing the French of theft and lack of integrity?

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